Feeling Good…or Fulfilled? (Episode 172)
What is the distinction between feeling good and feeling fulfilled? Oftentimes our pursuit of feeling good can miss that very big element of fulfillment that we're all ultimately seeking in life.
True fulfillment isn't external; it's an inward-looking process.
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Being an Eagle
In my role with 48 Days, I've been Chief Inspiration Officer and Chief Excitement Officer and more - but ultimately, I'm helping people not only create the work they love, but the life they thrive in. The 48 Days Eagles community is one for entrepreneur-minded individuals who recognize the importance of a right mindset, right idea, and right network to keep you moving toward and accountable to the goals you've set in life.
I love the powerful conversations and inspiring calls we have in that community - whether you're looking at a side business or a full-fledged one, if you have a desire for a more entrepreneurial "be your own boss" lifestyle, check out the 48 Days Eagles.
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This week's topic was inspired from one of many powerful conversations within the Eagles community, and I share some responses from other Eagles below.
Dealing with Dissapointment
We have to be able to navigate the ups and downs of life - and that means we have to navigate our expectations - because our expectations can often shoot us in the foot - if we are so focused on a specific outcome - the way things were or a specific way you want to be - and then be disappointed when we can't re-create the past or force someone else to act a certain way.
The Distinction of Feeling Good Vs. Fulfillment
Is fulfillment a mature "good feeling"? Is that what you get when you are comfortable with what good feelings are?
Nance in our Eagles Community shared this:
Are you Able To Find Meaning In Life Already?
How are you approaching life - looking at everything else you need to THEN be happy? Or are you able to find something to be happy about right now?
Can you find some meaning, purpose and significance in what you are doing now? Can you see the value around you that you already have access to?
Seth Godin says, "Find meaning in what you do rather than shopping for something to give you meaning." This was yet another great interview with two of my favorite rockstars, and was a great perspective reminder on how fulfillment has to come from within, and doesn't just base itself on what we have going on externally, including what we do for work:
The Right Mindset
In our Eagles community, we focus on three main areas - the right network, the right idea...and, first and foremost, the right mindset. Our mindset is so critical for how everything else will go in life. Believe everyone is out to get you, and you will undoubtedly make that a reality. Believe you're missing out, and you're spending more time focusing on what you're missing out on as you're missing out on OTHER things in life!
If you can shift your mindset to that of abundance and actually sitting in those feelings that fulfillment can bring - like happiness, joy, excitement for the future...then try going ahead and practicing it. You can't enforce what you don't first put into practice. Practice speaking the affirmations in your life that you want to come true, even before it's a reality. It's amazing what can come from taking that one step toward it by voicing it.
Visualization is such a wonderful way to do this - just play make-believe and imagine you ARE fulfilled and happy - what does it look and feel like? We are so, so interconnected in all we do. Mind, body, soul, and beyond - there is so much that affects each other - the more you can visualize the big picture of fulfillment, and sit in your imagination - and ultimately reality - in those positive emotions, the easier it'll be.
Learning New Languages
As a child, you have to learn to walk and talk. It's not an immediate process - it's life-long - sometimes with big leaps, like moving from laying there to crawling, and then to walking. Or going from babbling to speaking...and then learning to read, write, and create dialogue. Throughout our lives, we learn different languages of humanity and understanding. At one, we may be focusing on creating one sentence or taking one step. But at twenty, we may be perfecting that dance move or writing a book - it gets way more complex, beyond what we even know is possible when we're at that 2-year-old stage!
And, those things like the stages of grief - denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance...it's completely normal to feel those and also to rotate through the different emotions. And you may hit up against the same one multiple times. There isn't an exact protocol. Unfortunately it's not like having a baby where you know that after the transition phase it's always the pushing phase and eventually the baby always comes out.
Like David, another of our Eagles, says,
"I feel good when I sit down with a fresh cup of coffee and a good book, enjoy a nice meal with my wife or go for a walk to think about things and clear my mind.
I feel fulfilled when any of those activities that make me feel good contributes to my calling, or especially when I tell an inspiring story and it touches someone’s life in a positive way or helps them grow.
Fulfillment is the good fruit of doing the things that your soul longs to do. Many times it is that invisible feeling you get when you get lost in what you love to do."
Do These 4 Steps:
Step 1: Engage the Senses
Pay attention to ALL the senses. When we're looking for fulfillment or seeking something good, pay attention to the senses. Are you engaging all the senses, or are you disconnected in some way and paying attention will bring you back to center? What are you smelling? What are you seeing? How is this affecting you?
Step 2: Get Present
Bring awareness to the present moment. Sometimes we can feel like the whole world is falling apart, and, if we stop and take a breather, we realize nothing is really attacking or hurting us. Look at what is in front of you right now. Look at what is. And find something that is, right now, to be grateful for, or that brings you joy.
Step 3: Wait to Worry
Is it helping you to stress about something in the future? What is truly in the present moment that is truly within our personal control? Is worry and speculation helping you? Are you focusing so much on what you don't want to happen that you, in essence, think it into reality?
Step 4: Be A Joy-Seeker
Be a proactive joy-seeker. Seek a feeling, not a specific action. When you focus on the feelings, and you even start by smiling and laughing, your mind will catch up. Laughter is a great diffuser for stress. Get goofy with your kids and do karaoke. Have some fun and shake things up.
Let the Light In
Adding fun, looseness and light is so important. When you are living in heaviness....where is your balance? Where is your lightness, joy and sunshine? Joy is always behind that door - we just need to take the first step to crack it open. We often have to move toward joy to really allow it in our lives.
And sometimes, we actually need to BE that joy. Help someone else out who is a step or two behind you, or needs that assistance you know you can offer. Joy is contagious - you give some to others, it can be that good glitter that rubs off on you.
We're a messy process, but worth it.
What Is In Your Control?
When you are learning a new way to think, you'll start to lose some terminology - like I can't, they always, I never, yes, but...it's not fair, etc. You won't stop using those words, always, yet you'll catch yourself more.
We can only control that which is within ourselves. Your life cannot be perfectly plotted out exactly as you wish, unless you also have 100% control of every other person's mind and actions you come across, as well as wonderful Mother Nature. There are a lot of external variables we cannot always predict!
But what we can control is the best superpower we can have - the ability to frame our reality, our way of thinking, and our mindset to be whatever we want to create. Instead of looking at the lack in your life, look at the abundance. What are you grateful for, right now? What IS working well? Can you start with what is going right vs. what is going wrong? Living life as a victim of circumstance is accepting you are a pawn that will be moved as is convenient for others...not for you.
Let Go of the Outcome
Unless the outcome is the feelings and emotions you can control, I caution you about identifying exactly what something will look like. Think of the kid at Christmas obsessed with getting a basketball under the tree. He gets a bat and glove instead...so what does that look like? I kiddo thrilled at a gift he will enjoy because he loves all kinds of sports and enjoys the presence of people around him, or an angry son, so mad he didn't get the one gift he was set on that he missed the joy of the whole experience of Christmas day...focusing on one present and missing being present at all?
Focus on the feelings within your control. You can practice those feelings now. You may not have that perfect situation just yet - but you can find some element in your life where you can identify the feeling you're going for - joy, awareness, peace...and start sitting in the feelings of fulfillment and wholeness even as you grow.
Remember, Look Within
You may feel completely lost, alone or unloved, but as long as you rely on an external variable - someone else's thoughts and actions - you are at the mercy of them and whether it's just as important in their world as it is in yours. But in your world, you can sit in the feeling of being found, cherished, loved and more...by digging into your memories and remembering the emotion - not the exact situation, but simply the emotion. And if going to your past is too raw, go to your future - intentionally find someone or something and do to them what you want - show love. Show acceptance. Show joy and support to someone else and feel that emotion as you're helping another.
Some additional resources for you
- When Adventures Go Awry (Episode 51)
- Tasks: Tips to Move Past Overwhelm and Make It Flow
- Tasks: They Are Taking Over My Life!
- Life Isn’t Compartmentalized…but if it were…
- The Burden of Overwhelm – Moving Forward While Always Feeling Behind
- 5 Tips To Focus For Frazzled Families (Episode 160)
- The Steps For Emotional Resilience (Episode 150)
- Self-Love, or Self-Sabotage? (Episode 152)
Your Weekly Challenge:
Start exploring ways you can bring excitement and joy into your life - that feeling that this is right. Go seek it and give yourself permission to pursue it. That's your first step in allowing fulfillment, compassion and understanding in your life, and for others.
You don't have to leave your home. You don't have to spend a cent. This isn't about a huge undertaking. Take two minutes right now. Step aside and take off your shoes. Feel the ground under your feet and take two minutes to check in with every sense and just find something to be grateful for.
You can take just a tiny bit of time to do a world of impact. Creating a simple shift to the positive in your focus, and finding fulfillment within is a critical step in getting closer to seeing how the uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us. Namaste
Questions or comments?
Personality styles, marriage/intimacy, parenting, education, minimalism or travel - what is pressing on your mind?
Or, hop on over to the Mama Says Namaste or Unschooling Families FB groups and ask your question there!